A few articles on what’s going on in Bakken: tougher trafficking laws in effect, Williston Walmart no longer open 24 hours a day, $18 billion in state reserves, and new Williston airport moving forward.
7/8 – Bismarck Tribune – County okays windfarm near Tioga on a split vote – Landowners organized an effort to develop a wind farm which was bought by a commercial company. That effort has now led to a 75 turbine project that has been approved by County commissioners.
In a sort of grand opening, the shell company that owns the Thunder Spirit wind farm invited the community to sign a turbine blade.
8/26 – Dickinson Press – Blade-signing event heralds wind farm near Hettinger– If you want to see how huge wind turbines are and why they are so deadly to birds, you gotta’ check out the photo that goes with the story. The cross-section of the blade, its width, is equal to the height of the people signing the blade.
The article quotes the Lt. Governor, Congressional representative, and county commissioner waxing philosophically how wonderful the economic impact will be from the wind farm.
Article does not contain any comment from the pair of golden eagles nesting two miles from a planned turbine. The couple did not provide any newsworthy quotes regarding the impact of the wind farm on their life expectancy.
This is a big deal because the EPA’s goal of transforming the power grid will require shutting down a tremendous amount of already-operating plants and replacing that power with brand-new, intermittent, renewable power. That means shutting down existing coal plants and building new wind farms.
Bottom line is we will be shutting down conventional coal that produces electricity at $38.40 per megawatt-hour (mWh) in exchange for new wind farms at an all-in cost of $112.80/mWh.
Turns out that Fish and Wildlife Service can’t just let the wind industry kill off eagles for 30 years without considering the environment issues because understanding the impact would be too hard to figure out.
8/13 – Courthouse News Service – Judge Rules for Eagles Over Wind Power– The Fish and Wildlife Service decided that when it gave special dispensation to wind farms to kill off a few eagles here and there they could grant permission for 30 years instead of the 5 years currently allowed. Under current rules, after the five-year limit expires the permission would be reviewed before allowing another 5 year to off a bunch of eagles.
A 10 year study looking at nesting patterns of nine species of grassland birds in the Dakotas found that seven of the species relocated their nests away from good breeding ground after wind turbines were constructed.
Constructing turbines or solar panels consumes vast amounts of natural resources. Consider just some of the resource drain created by ‘renewable’ energy discussed on 1/13/15 at The Scotsman:Comment: Renewables drain our resources –
Wind turbine towers are constructed from steel manufactured in a blast furnace from mined iron ore and modified coal (coke). Turbine blades are composed of oil-derived resins and glass fibre. The nacelle encloses a magnet containing about one third of a tonne of the rare earth metals, neodymium and dysprosium. Large neodymium magnets also help propel electric cars.
Water in an area around a 215 turbine farm in Ayrshire contains high levels of E.coli along with other coliform bacteria. Water has far more than the safe levels of trihalomethane (THM). That stuff has been linked to a variety of cancers, miscarriages, and stillbirths. Discussed atNew Evidence: Wind Farms Contaminating Water Supply in Scotland.
The power company running the slice-and-dicers denies having caused the pollution but does acknowledge that they failed to warn residents that the water supplies could be contaminated as a result of the turbines.
So in Scotland it looks wind turbines are causing human health damage from diarrhea and miscarriages in addition to causing ecological damage from killing off birds and bats.
Wind turbines contaminating drinking water? How does that happen?
As I notice articles describing the construction cost to build wind and solar facilities, I’m accumulating the information. A while back there was a discussion on the resale price. Compared to slice-and-dicers, a brand new car holds its value incredibly well.
Depreciation from driving a car off the dealer’s lot is nothin’ compared to a wind turbine.
The Wall Street Journal reports First Offshore Wind Farm in U.S. Powers Ahead – The first offshore wind turbines in the US will start construction soon and is expected to produce electricity late next year. Located a few miles off Block Island, Rhode Island, the turbines will replace diesel as source of electricity for the 1,000 residents.
The electricity has been purchased under a contract with National Grid with starting prices above market and rates to increase 3.5% each year for the 20 year life of the contract. Cost for the residents of the island will go down because this is replacing expensive diesel that is shipped to the island.
After some background, let’s look at the construction costs per megawatt of theoretical capacity.
There is also something called barrotrauma, that is pulmonary embolism caused by a bat or bird flying behind the spinning blades. No contact is necessary and bats and sometimes birds can fly for quite a distance before hemorrhaging to death.
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know I’m not concise. So here is my longer explanation.
My correspondent refers to this summary. You can find the full article on the second tab of that link. I don’t see a specific data, but do notice a 2008 copyright date.
The team of biologists explain wind turbines create a low-pressure area behind the turbine. Bats have superb echo locating ability so they can easily identify turbines and stay out of their way. The low-pressure area is undetectable for them.
Here are few updates on one approved and one cancelled slice-and-dice project in North Dakota.
First, an update on the damage from wind turbines – 5/6 – Million Dollar Way – Great Prarie-Chickens Demand Wind-Turbine Free Zones– Researchers studying prairie-chicken nests, called leks, over a five-year period found that the leks are more likely to be abandoned within 8 km of slice-and-dicer turbines. More evidence of the environmental damage from wind power, which is an expected consequence.
About that cancelled project – I’ve previously mentioned Dickinson Wind, LLC was trying to get permits for an 87-turbine wind farm.